Starsky & Hutch


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Starsky and Hutch
The Masked Reviewer

If, like most people, you don't remember the 1975 TV show other than there was a blonde guy, a brunette guy, a red sports car, and Huggy Bear, then fear not!  Starsky and Hutch has all those things.

Ben Stiller plays David Starsky, the brunette.  Owen Wilson plays David "Hutch" Hutchinson, the blonde guy.  The red sports car is played by a Ford Torino.  And Huggy Bear is played by Snoop Dogg, event though Antonio Fargas was probably available.  Wasn't he?  What the hell else would he be doing?

The film was written and directed by Todd Phillips, who you may remember also brought you Old School and Road Trip.  For some, that will be enough information to instantly make up your mind as to whether you want to see Starsky and Hutch.  For others, that will instantly make up your mind as to whether you want to see Starsky and Hutch in the opposite direction. 

Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller have worked together on Zoolander and Meet the Parents and they have a good chemistry.  In fact, in some ways they are both more enjoyable when they are together.  One plays an uptight, high-strung cop.  The other plays a mellow, easy-going cop.  Guess which is which?  The Masked Reviewer won't spoil it for you!

Vince Vaughn  plays Reese Feldman, an evil Jewish drug lord.  Now, what is it with Hollywood?  Ever since The Passion of the Christ, Jews are suddenly the bad guy in every movie?  Oh sure, Ben Stiller is Jewish, but so was Jesus Christ, so they cancel each other out! 

Among the various guest stars in the film is sit-com legend, Jason Bateman.  See if you can pick him out.  It's nice to see that he's working.

The Masked Reviewer, like many of you, has been looking forward to this movie.  The very idea of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson playing Starsky and Hutch is funny.  How could it not be great?  See the movie and find out.

That's not to say it's awful, it's just awfully disappointing.  There are funny moments, but they are funny despite the writing.  The writing is horrendous.  The amusing moments are all thanks to the cast.  As an example, there's a "disco dance-off" featuring Ben Stiller.  Now, you may wonder how a scene with Ben Stiller disco dancing couldn't be funny. but it just falls flat.

This sentence contains a possible spoiler.  If you want to be completely surprised by what you see in Starsky and Hutch then DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  It's not going to ruin much, and it's hard to imagine anyone not anticipating what is about to be discussed, but you may want to go in cold, if so, stop now.  Anyway, there are cameo appearances (surprise!) featuring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul, the original Starsky and Hutch.  They show up at the end of the movie, wearing the same clothes as the new Starsky and Hutch.  But...they don't do anything.  There's nothing funny about it, it's just kind of confusing, and it feels very, very awkward. 

Okay, you can start reading again.  Another strange thing in the film is the anachronisms.  They (wisely) decided to go with the 1975ish setting, rather than set it in the present.  But, they refer to things that happen in 1984, such as the robot dance.  How confusing.  Is it a joke?  The Masked Reviewer doesn't get it.

All in all...hardcore fans of Owen Wilson and/or Ben Stiller will find parts to enjoy about Starsky and Hutch, but you may be in for a let down.  The very idea is funny...those two guys reviving that 70's cop show?  Hilarious!  But it just doesn't live up, sadly.  It's not even as funny as Old School, though it does have a few good moments.  You might want to wait for the video to come out.


Expectation from the Title: When a Polish astronomer decides to go on a cross-country journey with a part of a desk, he learns about himself...and others.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Owen and Ben, it's nice to see them together again.

The Pros: Owen Wilson!  Ben Stiller!  A few good laughs.

The Cons: Poorly written, a lot of set-ups for jokes that don't pay off, several situations that go nowhere.


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